How to Plan a Successful Family Reunion

by Country Inns & Suites
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Summer is the perfect time for a family reunion. Picnics in the park, pool parties, and friendly pickup games set the perfect scene for a big family gathering. However, organizing this event can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. You need to research destinations, activities, accommodations, and costs, among other things. Use these tips to avoid getting exhausted by all the details and ensure that your family reunion is full of smiles and free of stress!

family playing soccer

Building the Basics

You should start planning the details of your family reunion 6-12 months in advance. You’ll want to give each family member time to request vacation days or plan around their children’s school schedules. You should also begin assigning portions of the planning to those who want to help. Tasks like researching destinations, sending invitations, planning the menu, and organizing games and activities can be assigned to individual family members to help take the load off of the main planner.

Deciding on a Destination

Deciding on the destination for the reunion should be done collectively as a family. The person researching destinations should consider areas that would be enjoyed by everyone who will attend. Beaches, amusement parks, and state or national parks are just a few great places to hold a family reunion. There will be many opinions to consider, so we suggest including 3 to 5 of your researched destinations in an online survey, such as Survey Monkey. You can customize a survey to highlight the area attractions, lodging, and venues for the reunion. Email or post a link to the survey on your social media profiles for a quick and easy way to gather feedback from your family members.

Book Your Hotel

Booking a hotel for a large group can be stressful, but Country Inns & Suites By Carlson makes it easy and offers amenities perfectly designed for a family reunion. Your family will enjoy a complimentary breakfast, a cozy lobby fireplace, swimming pool, our Read It & Return Lending Library, and more during their stay.* Country Inns & Suites can also create a customized Web page for your event where your family members can book room reservations, confirm directions, and review event details.

Activities for All

Whether young or old, you won’t want anyone to feel left out during the reunion. Plan activities that everyone will enjoy, such as creating nametags. You won’t want anyone to feel bad if they forget the name of their second cousin’s husband or a great aunt who lives across the country. Make a craft table filled with construction paper, markers, stickers and other fun supplies to decorate name tag stickers. Children’s activities should range in difficulty so they are entertaining for any age. For example, you can plan a scavenger hunt with prizes for the older kids and a fun T-ball game for the little ones. The whole family will also enjoy playing a variety of group games, such as flag football or Red Rover.

Meals and Menus

Consider planning a few group meals at local restaurants during down days and, if you are not using a caterer, delegate food items to each family member to bring to the actual reunion. For example, one family unit can be responsible for bringing the snacks while another can be responsible for the drinks. You should also remember to plan your menu around your event. If you’re renting a picnic shelter at a park, you may want to consider a backyard barbeque-style menu. If you’re planning an indoor event, you could instead choose an Italian family-style dinner.

These tips will help you create a fun family reunion filled with enough smiles and memories to last until next year! Don’t forget to have everyone take pictures during the reunion so you’ll have a wonderful photo album that will be treasured for generations to come! We look forward to being a part of your special event.

*Amenities may vary by location